How many times have you heard the word “UX” compatible or “UX” optimized thrown around in design specs or pitch-decks? It’s a common selling point for digital designers, and there is not a ton of quantitative data that backs up certain choices for layout or aesthetics. 

UX is an art and has been closely studied, as seen in Peter Moreville’s “Honeycomb” model. Like any theory,  it’s been argued over, but I think it’s a great starting point to reference for everyone involved in creating innovative products. I have selected a few of these tenets that I feel form the foundation of all great websites. These are: usefulness, usability and findability.

Useful

Does the product, service or feature serve a purpose for your target customers? If it does, it’s useful. Remember, usefulness is in the eye of the beholder. It’s all about your target market. A particular feature of a video game (like character customisation options) might not seem useful to everyone, but to a gamer, it might be an essential sticking point that will define whether they play a game or not. On a website, this may take the form of (FINISH)

Usable
Usefulness does not equal usable. Usability concerns your users’ ability to effectively and efficiently achieve their end goal. How many clicks, for instance, does it take a user to reach their desired page?

Findable
This one is obvious. This is all about navigation. Is the information your user seeks easy to find? Is your navigational structure intuitive? You want to reduce the pathway required to reach a user-intended converting action. The more hidden or covert elements on your site, the more frustrated your users will be and more likely they will drop-off (i.e what you don’t want).

2021 Trends

Now that we’ve addressed some of the classic UX points based on the honeycomb theory, we should address what’s hot in the digital design space. Our top 3 picks are:  Advanced micro-interactions, AI, and throwback to 90s style interfaces (which is the irony of it all!)

Micro-Interactions

Have you scrolled on a site and had the smallest aspects respond to your hover? Those are examples of micro-interactions. They make a site feel “alive” and completely responsive to your presence, which is interpreted as personalization. This taps into a subconscious trust factor – meaning users are more likely to stay on your site for longer.

AI

Artificial intelligence may remind you of a science fiction movie, but it’s utilized in subtle ways to help customize your viewing experience. This means on a most basic level, cookie usage, highly customized chat bots, automated translators, or on the highest level personal-assistant style experiences. This ties into the usefulness tenet of the Honeycomb model.

Vintage Elements

You probably feel a pang of nostalgia every time you see old-school mouse icons, 90’s style boxy-modules, and grainy graphics that are used to leverage feelings of familiarity and childhood fondness. 

A healthy balance of both types of elements, and keeping an ear to the ground about the latest trends to incorporate, will keep your website on the forefront of the digital era. The designers and strategists behind My Social Biz ensure that both old and new elements are leveraged to provide the best possible experience for all of our clients. Find out how we can bring your site to life today!

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